The quarterback injury situation is a worrying item on the Washington Redskins list of preseason no-nos, but Rex Grossman, the man so easy to ridicule and criticize, did a pretty good job with most of the focus going to players not on the field or leaving it due to injury.
Grossman finished with 11-of-21 from 171 yards an a touchdown. Not exactly confident numbers to make everyone calm about Robert Griffin III and his mysterious health situation or Kirk Cousins finding himself on the injury-list as well, but you could have a lot worse from a third-string quarterback who has plenty of NFL-starter experience.
The Redskins won the game against the Buffalo Bills 30-7, looking very impressive on the ground and defensively, although more meaningful players, like punt returner Richard Crawford, had to leave the field after picking up an injury.
Even without the most trusted of quarterbacks, the Redskins’ running game is in safe hands. It’s true that Alfred Morris enjoyed the triple-threat RG3 provided for him as the two went into their rookie campaign together, but he’s a quarterback who doesn’t just make the most of the open field in front of him; he’s the kind of back that creates his own running yards, even if the holes opened up by the offensive line aren’t too great.
Morris finished with 16 yards on 4 carries, showing that ability to make something out of nothing on three of those runs. Roy Helu, who’ll be the team’s backup running back, had an impressive day on the ground with 70 yards on 13 carries, but he also fumbled the ball, and unlike Morris, he’s a lot more reliant on what the offensive line gives him.
The defense had no problem once Kevin Kolb left the game. No EJ Manuel, and Jeff Tuel was the one doing most of the throwing. The running game with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson for the Bills didn’t amount to much, with London Fletcher doing very well to organize his defense against the very fast Bills offense, taking the snaps with more than 20 seconds left on the play clock. Buffalo managed a first down on only three of 12 series and none in the second half, although it’s probably to do with Tuel in the game and not a better quarterback.
Ryan Kerrigan continues to prove he’s going to be a major force next to Fletcher in the defensive unit, but the Bills didn’t provide the sternest of tests, because they didn’t give the Redskins’ defense the challenge of staying too long on the field.
It’s hard to asses what the Redskins are going to do in the regular season without their top quarterback being available to show the masses his rehabilitated self, and how his knee is holding up. But there’s plenty of things for the Redskins to be happy about – their defense, their running game, and even guys like Rex Grossman and Pat White, who aren’t the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but provide a very high level of backup, which every team needs.